Doggy destruction

It took one night to undo what had taken many weeks to design and put together. Now the ArfWalk dog created by Paw Pro and Company looks like it has a bad case of the mange, said owner Cindy O'Beirne.
Becky Vargo
Aug 10, 2012


The large plywood dog, displayed near O'Bierne's business at the corner of Washington Avenue and Ferry Street, is also missing one of its puppies.

Karen Tombs — who was commissioned to design the dog — said everything was fine when her husband, Bill, drove by the three-dog display Sunday night. When she went by at about noon Monday, Tombs noticed one of the puppies was gone.

Tombs said she turned around and ran back to the display. That’s when she noticed many of the glass jewel pieces peeled off and laying on the ground.

O’Beirne and the Tombses immediately went to work putting up fliers, asking for the return of the stolen plywood poodle with “no questions asked.” They later added a sign and bucket to the display, seeking donations.

“We’ll use the money hopefully to buy another dog, or to put it toward the (ArfWalk) cause,” O’Beirne said.

ArfWalk is a fundraiser for Grand Haven’s Main Street Downtown Development Authority, similar to last year's RocketFish. It helps pay for banners, historic projects and landscaping, according to DDA Director Dana Kollewehr.

O'Beirne said she already had $1,000 into the project.

“It was an investment,” she said. “I was going to keep mine to dress up this corner.”

ArfWalk dog creators have the option of donating their artwork for an auction.

“We’re always trying to do something for Eastown to bring more business this way,” O’Beirne said.

The grooming salon owner said she purchased the larger dog this year for the fundraiser “because it was the dogs.” The previous year, she purchased only the smaller fish in the RocketFish project.

“We didn’t get a large one because it was too expensive,” she said.

O’Beirne said she was very upset that someone could be so callous to destroy the artwork.

Tombs said she spent many hours gluing more than 600 glass jewels on the plywood dogs.

“You create art for someone to enjoy it,” she said. “To have somebody destroy it for no purpose is disheartening.”

The eyes on the large dog came from antique jewelry Tombs had found. The dog’s bow was made out of a rhinestone belt, probably from the 1930s, she said.

“There’s not a lot of money tied up, but these pieces are not something you can easily find again,” Tombs added.

O’Beirne said she was sad that the display was ruined before it could be entered in the voting. She noted a number of people had stopped into her Washington Avenue store to comment on how much they liked the display.

Arf Walk committee member Randy Smith said they probably would allow O’Beirne to submit an enlarged photo of her entry for voting.

Smith said there has been very little vandalism this year.

“Most people understand that it’s somebody’s creation,” he said. “Most people have respect for that.”

The only instance of ArfWalk vandalism that has occurred downtown is a mustache ripped from the Tip-A-Few Tavern’s entry. Smith said he also heard that someone was seen taking peanuts off Fortino’s dog and eat them.

Smith said new dogs are popping up all the time. Eighty of the large ones have been sold, he said.

Voting on the large dogs will be held Sept. 29 during Grand Haven’s ArtWalk.





When they catch the PUNK(S) that did this senseless act they should make them stand on the corner of main and main on Labor Day weekend with a sandwich board sign that says "I am the stupid punk that vandalized this beautiful piece of art" and have this dog placed on the sidewalk right next to them so that the whole town can see what an idiot this person is!!




I know of other dogs that have also been damaged already. One of them is the rope/mop dog - it has had the rope pieces pulled off and one eye stolen. Why are people so destructive?


Sadly this is not the only dog that has been damaged. A friend worked hard creating the cutest mariachi band for the Tip-A-Few dog. Day one an eye and a musical note were pulled off. Day three an entire dog was stolen from it. She had made 2 extra band members for the 3 piece mariachi band that included the large dog, and the 2 she made herself to add to the adorable piece of art. They did not even put it out during Coast Guard for fear of more destruction (the damage occured prior to CG to be clear). I cannot imagine what kind of rude person touches anyone elses art, building, car, home or anything else. If it doesn't belong to you, move on. Destructive just for kicks, these are not the kind of people we need in our community. I hope they are caught and have to face up to their public shame.


Bad to hear such a great piece got destroyed by the courtesy of some random careless driver.

Finding Bigfoot


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.